Saturday, October 22, 2011

It has been almost two months. In these past two months, I find myself gradually adapting into a new routine:

  • two days a week, I spend six some hours among people half my age, talking, instructing, motivating, sometimes scolding. All this is done in a room full of easels, taborets, spot lights, broken chairs and trash cans, smells of oil paint and paint thinner and linseed oil, among youngsters in torn jeans, flipflops, purple or pink or blue hair, tattoos and nose rings, etc. And I am developing a feeling resembling affection for all of them - including the easels and the trash cans. 
  • one evening a week, I go to RCIA at my parish, as sponsor to a woman, whom I shall call D, that I met in an art class I taught two years ago. D was talking to other people in the class about having a blue heeler dog to give away, a stray she had kept and taken to the vet for heart worms etc. I overheard. I inquired. A couple of weeks later KDM and I paid a visit to her house and came home with the blue heeler, whom we rechristened Scooter. A few days later in class D was yet again chatting with another woman and mentioned that although she was Baptist she had wanted to be a nun since she was a little girl. I overheard that too. I inquired. Two months later, she started going to mass at my parish. Two years later, at present, I'm her RCIA sponsor. 
  • We're getting used to our new pastor. Father K would fill in at RCIA when the lady-in-charge is sick or for other reason can't show. Father K is from Africa and laughs very hearty and baritone laughs. When he speaks of God and Christ and prayer and pure silence you have something like goose bumps on the back of your neck. You become aware that something real is here. 
  • Ever since Fr. K told us that upon awakening he gives his first hour of the day to the Lord, I've been up to speed on my daily readings. I confess that I understood, intellectually, the importance of the morning prayer and offerings long before Fr. K's discourse on it. Yet I did not put it into practice. I was lazy, undisciplined. So many other things got in the way or took precedence: coffee, checking email, getting dressed and ready for whatever, doing dishes left over from the night before, you get the picture. Now I'm shamed into action. God does not need that first hour of my day as God needs nothing; it is I who very much need it sanctified in order to live, rather than sleepwalk through, the every hour thereafter. 
  • One morning a week, as has been for the past six years, KDM and I spend an hour at the little chapel of Perpetual Adoration, the Happy Hour. I don't think it's something I can ever stop doing. This past Friday a young Hispanic woman came in, a new face to us regular adorers. Shortly after we heard sniffing and what sounded like soft sobbing from where she knelt. We tried not to look her way, feeling bad that the chapel was too small and shabby to afford her the privacy she obviously needed. Clearly something happened to her, and she wanted to be alone with the only One to whom she could bare her soul and its burden and grief.
  • I've almost finished reading the much-discussed book by Father Robert Barron Catholicism. Reading the book, attending RCIA, wrestling with aversion for human interaction, coming face-to-face with conflicts both interior and exterior... have all been rocking my inner world towards a direction I would not have foreseen a merely two months ago. Simply put, I find myself so helpless in so many circumstances that I'm utterly dependent on my Catholic faith. I'm beginning to have a glimpse of what the saints must have meant by Love. And that disturbs, even pains me. I've always considered myself quick in perception and insight. Why, I've been sitting up in sofas and in pews alike reading, hearing, contemplating, analyzing the meaning of Faith, Hope, and Love, yet it is now being revealed to me that I know next to nothing about being in Love with God. Is there any other need in this life than being in love with God? 
  • I remember at one time or another wondered if  by picking Saint Therese "the Little Flower" as my patron, I had made a commonplace choice due to her popularity. Of late I've come to see more and more clearly how providential the choice has been. As Fr. Barron relates in his book what a brilliant French Jesuit friend concluded about her: "the Little Teresa is really the Big Teresa!" My beloved Little Flower, saint of the Little Ways, do teach me the way of Love. Pray for me that for the rest of my life, I will want no more, no less. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you are writing again! :)

    Isn't it interesting how, even being averse to human interaction, we still need it?

    The Little Flower is a marvelous patron and while I have a couple of others which I lean on, she's my favorite.

    I've started a note to you - watch for it!


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